Background. Diagnostic criteria for Sjögren’s syndrome (SS) are continually being updated in pursuit of more precise and earlier diagnosis to prevent its complications. Owing to the high rate of false negative traditional serological markers, the need for better serological testing remains. Objective. To investigate the clinical significance of three recently discovered novel autoantibodies, anti-salivary gland protein 1 (SP1), anti-carbonic anhydrase 6 (CA6), and anti-parotid secretory protein (PSP), in a cohort of dry eye patients with suspected underlying inflammatory/autoimmune disease. Methods. Medical records of 136 patients with a primary diagnosis of dry eye who underwent laboratory testing between April 2014 and July 2017 were reviewed retrospectively. Data regarding demographic information, ocular and systemic symptoms, previous medical diagnoses, serological test results, and minor salivary gland biopsy results were collected. Dry eye evaluations included tear osmolarity, Schirmer test without anesthesia, conjunctival lissamine green staining, and corneal fluorescein staining in the order listed here. Results. Of the 136 patients, 9 (9/136, 6.6%) presented with a history of SS, and 9 additional patients (9/127, 7%) received a new diagnosis of SS as a result of evaluations. Fifty-six patients (56/136, 41%) tested positive for at least one of the novel autoantibodies. Fifty-four percent (6/11) of patients with primary SS who underwent the novel serological testing had a positive anti-PSP. Of those, 2 (2/11, 18%) had negative traditional serology and had to undergo minor salivary gland biopsy for definitive diagnosis. Anti-CA6 was associated with increased corneal and conjunctival staining after adjusting for age, sex, and other serologic markers (HR = 1 5, 95% CI = 1 20-1.97, and p = 0 009 and HR = 1 4, 95% CI = 1 04-1.76, and p = 0 02, respectively). Conclusions. This cross-sectional study demonstrated that anti-CA6 is seen in patients with severe aqueous-deficient dry eye. Whether these patients have an early stage of SS or a different type of autoimmune condition may be determined through longitudinal studies.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy